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Why is Your Account Balance Negative After Executing a Market Order 

03 Jul 2023


A negative fund balance is a common occurrence in the equity markets. It often happens when traders execute orders, but they don't have enough money in their accounts to cover all the costs. There can be several reasons why an account could end up with a negative balance after executing a market order.

It is very important to restore the balance in the account to ensure no penalties are levied. Read on to learn more about negative fund balance.

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Why was the account in a negative balance after the execution of a market order? 

In trading, the execution of a market order can sometimes lead to a negative account balance. Such an event can create potential financial challenges for the trader. Let's have a look at the common reasons behind this event - 

  • Insufficient funds: If the account has insufficient balance to cover the cost of the market order, it could result in a negative balance. For example, if the account had Rs. 100 and the market order required Rs. 200, the account would be left with a negative balance of Rs. 100.
  • Margin trading: Margin trading involves borrowing funds from a broker to increase the buying power and potentially amplify the gains. However, it also exposes you to the risk of amplified losses. If you engage in margin trading and the market moves against your position, the losses can exceed the funds you initially invested. This could cause a negative account balance, as you have not only used up your funds but are also borrowing additional capital from the broker.
  • Fees and commissions: When executing a market order, you may be subject to various fees and commissions charged by the brokerage or exchange. These fees can include transaction fees, brokerage commissions, exchange fees, or regulatory charges. If the total fees associated with the order exceed the available account balance, it can lead to a negative balance.

What should I do to resolve the negative cash balance? 

If your account has a negative cash balance, it's crucial to take immediate action to resolve this situation. Here are some steps you can take to address a negative cash balance:

  • Contact your broker or financial institution: Reach out to your broker or financial institution as soon as possible to inform them about the negative cash balance. They will have specific procedures in place to handle such situations and can provide guidance on how to resolve the issue.
  • Understand the cause: Ask your broker or financial institution for an explanation about why your account has a negative balance. They will be able to provide details about the specific transactions, fees, or margin positions that resulted in the negative balance.
  • Deposit funds: If the negative balance is due to insufficient funds, you will need to deposit additional funds into your account to bring it back to a positive balance. Determine the amount needed to cover the negative balance. This amount must include any applicable fees or charges.

What happens if the account deficit is not fulfilled? 

Here are some possible outcomes that you might face if the account deficit is not fulfilled: -

  • Collection efforts: The broker or financial institution may initiate collection efforts to recover the negative balance. They may contact you directly, send reminders, or engage in more formal collection procedures, such as involving collection agencies or taking legal action.
  • Account suspension or closure: In some cases, if the negative balance remains unresolved, the broker may suspend trading privileges or close your account. This can limit your ability to engage in further trading activities or access your account.
  • Legal action: The broker or financial institution may take legal action to recover the funds. This can be in the form of court cases or police complaints.


Maintaining a positive account balance is crucial to avoiding penalties and potential consequences. Traders should promptly address negative cash balances by contacting their broker, understanding the cause, and depositing funds to resolve the deficit. Neglecting to fulfill the deficit can lead to serious consequences.


Related Articles: Will my SIP work better in a bull market or in a bear market? | What is the Difference Between a Market Order and a Limit Order? | How can You Make Use of Stop Loss and Stop Limit Market Orders

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